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Sustainable electric cars

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Sustainable electric cars

ID: F1601-08

Today's electric automobiles (EVs) suffer from reasonably large purchasing costs. a task is developing and assessing a new integrated electric motor concept in which the wheels are housing the entire powertrain except the battery pack. With this project, scientists are working on developing a full in-wheel motor construction prototype. Despite an expected market of 100 000 cars for the technology by 2015, most existing in-wheel designs are nevertheless at the model stage. Except for the wheel and the electric motor, power electronics, structural parts, brake system and a decrease gear are also areas of the prototype system. The proposed concept is based on a commonly used front suspension system — the MacPherson strut — and should be able to fulfill typical B-segment EV requirements. To develop and evaluate a concept vehicle, focus will be put on factors such as thermal stress under extreme working conditions, car dynamics, driveability, safety and durability. Interest is compensated to aspects such as eco-design, component and whole-car life-cycle assessment analysis, dismantling, and recycling of important materials such as uncommon earths. The in-wheel motor idea provides greater scope for revolutionising the car design, greatly increasing the interior area (the only remaining component to be housed in the car body is the battery) and improving driving performance. Overheating is a great threat for in-wheel motors, particularly since the proposed idea features a fully air-cooled motor, with traditional airflow driven by the vehicle and assisted by an innovative wheel design. This ensures that enough airflow is supplied to the in-wheel system to evacuate the temperature in metropolitan and motorway driving cycles. In addition, a fan is considered for the standstill situation, whenever the vehicle needs to drive gradually when the electric motor is at large conditions. With its activities, the project is developing the basis for a industry production electric motors and components with required performances at competitive expenses.

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